The slower you grow, the longer you live, a new study suggests. Scientists looking at growth patterns in stickleback fish say they discovered lifespan is affected by the rate at which bodies expand early in life.
Bodies which grow quickly accumulate greater tissue damage, with life-shortening results.
A team from Glasgow University altered the growth rate of 240 fish by exposing them to brief cold or warm spells, putting them ahead or behind their normal growth schedule.
Researchers noticed the fish got back on track once their environmental temperature was returned to normal, but the change in growth rate affected their rate of ageing.
The slow-growing fish lived for around 30% longer than the stickleback’s two-year average, with a lifespan of nearly 1,000 days.
The lifespan of the fast-growing fish was 15% shorter than normal.